Your Thursday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

November 24, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Chaves to start season at Tour Down Under; One Pro Cycling loses sponsor and Pro Continental status; Brajkovic signs with Bahrain Merida; Wanty-Groupe Gobert signs Lieuwe Westra; Astana unveils 2017 jersey and Argon 18 bikes; Sagan eyes Roubaix victory, hints that he could retire in ‘three, four, five, six years’; CyclingTips Podcast: David Walsh on Armstrong, Team Sky, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins’ TUEs; Etixx-QuickStep staff wraps up two-day team building exercises; Video: Trailer for Cyclocross World Cup in Zeven, Germany

One Pro Cycling loses sponsor and Pro Continental status

by CyclingTips

British cycling team One Pro Cycling has outlined its plans for the 2017 season and confirmed it will compete at the UCI Continental level after a year at the UCI Pro Continental level. The team claims the change is due to the withdrawal of sponsor funding just weeks before Wednesday’s UCI application deadline for a Pro Continental licence.

Several media outlets are reporting that the decision was taken after sponsor Factor Bikes left the team to instead back French WorldTour team AG2R La Mondiale.

“It has been a very tough decision to make and has not been taken lightly,” said team CEO Matt Prior. “Unfortunately, things have changed at the last minute but that is the nature of sport, business and life. All we can do now is look forward to what will hopefully be another successful year of racing. Whatever level we ride at, the team’s values of accessibility, hard work, professionalism and respect will remain at its core and is something that I am extremely proud of. The One Pro Cycling management team are more motivated than ever to keep moving forward and take this team back up to Pro Continental and beyond in 2018.”

The team’s marquee rider in 2016 was 2011 Milan-San Remo winner Matt Goss, though he failed to deliver results and announced his retirement in September. The team had 20 riders on its roster in 2016 and took 13 wins, highlighted by Steele Von Hoff’s win on the opening stage of the Tour of Norway. As of mid-November, 14 riders had committed to the team for next year.

“I understand that some observers will see this as a step backwards but I merely see it as just another step in the ONE Pro Cycling story,” Prior said. “The aims, goals and ambitions have not changed and we are all driven to one day see this team racing in the Tour de France. We have very promising things happening behind-the-scenes with our brand and I hope to be announcing an exciting new bike partner on a three-year term shortly.”